Now that the dust has settled, what do we know? What don’t we know? What can we learn from the US attack on Syria? Several reports and a Keith Olbermann rant provide some answers. The post also includes details on several rallies and marches related to climate, Tax Day, & Syria, and a report on our beloved Governor’s plummeting approval ratings.
Actions & Brief Notices
Get Active! Your Children will want to know how you resisted this regime These times are so dire they require activism, daily activism, from all of us. Look at the face of the woman being detained in the picture below. She is crying out to you. Now imagine she is your sister. Millions of her brothers and sisters are at risk this very moment. Your neighbors. So, if the Trump Death Budget didn’t motivate you, or our Governor’s shameful vetoes, or the recent missile attacks in Syria, maybe now the bill going through Congress to spend billions to ramp up mass deportation of our immigrant neighbors will spur you to action. We badly need to expand the impact of this blog, so please share the link to this and future issues on your Facebook page or forward it to friends and encourage them to follow us. Also, if you haven’t already, head over to our Facebook page by clicking here and track all of our posts. Finally, consider getting involved directly by signing up for action by clicking here. We have many roles you can play, and as this and other posts make painfully obvious, your activism is critical to saving this planet. And if you need ideas for getting active, check out our Personal Action Toolkit. Please, do something. So much depends on what YOU do.
Action Alert for Detention Warriors! We have only 2 weeks to stop Congress from funding President Trump’s request to spend billions of dollars for his massive enforcement plan that includes a totally unnecessary border wall and more deportation agents and detention beds. Leaders in Congress are negotiating this right now. Today, we need you tell Congress to reject Trump’s $3 billion request to fund this extravagant, wasteful, and ineffective plan. Click on this action alert: Take Action: Congress Must Block the Waste of Money on Trump’s Wall and Massive Deportation Machine. Send this action alert to friends and colleagues. For those living in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York Chapters, Philadelphia, Texas, New Mexico, Washington, and Wisconsin, we need you to reach out to the following Senators to thank them for their leadership and ask that they reject funding for the President’s shameful immigration executive orders. These Senators are either in a leadership position, belong to the Appropriations Committee, or are staunch immigrant champions. Contact info for all US Senators, click here.
- CA – Senators Feinstein and Harris
- CT – Sen. Murphy
- DE – Sen. Coons
- HI – Sens. Hirono and Schatz
- MD – Sen. Van Hollen
- NH – Sen. Shaheen
- NJ – Sen. Booker
- NM – Sens. Udall and Heinrich
- NY – Sen. Schumer
- NV – Sen. Cortez-Masto
- WA – Sen. Murray
- WI – Sen. Baldwin
Susana Martinez’s favorability is below 50%, plummeting, and now among the ten least popular Governor’s in the US. Only 5 years ago she enjoyed 60% approval rating in a blue state. How low can she go? For more, click here.
TODAY, April 13: A Community Conversation About Syria. Albuquerque Center for Peace & Justice. 202 Harvard Dr SE, Albuquerque. Click here for details and to RSVP. The people of Syria have had to endure an unfathomably brutal war for more than 6 years. We have witnessed a live-streamed holocaust and yet we are limited in our understanding of what is happening on the ground and what we can do to help. We at the ACPJ feel it is important to hear and uplift Syrian voices advocating for their homeland. Joining us for our Community Conversation will be Syrian American activists Ramah Kudaimi and Maytha Alhassen via live stream. We are eager to hear their voices. April 13 also coincides with The Women’s March national call for a stance with Syria. We will be holding a vigil at 6-6:45 pm outside the peace center. Conversation starts at 7pm. Please join us! For info please contact Samia Assed 505-999-8265. This is a potluck event. Earth Care, Veterans for Peace, and Retake Our Democracy are going to collaborate to sponsor a similar conversation in Santa Fe. See below the actions listings for more on the Syrian attack.
Santa Fe Tax March, Sat., April 15 • 11:00 AM, The Roundhouse, Paseo de Peralta and Old Santa Fe Trail, Sante Fe. A protest demanding that Trump release his taxes and also to express outrage that our damned taxes go to escalate wars, free the shackles on the fossil fuel industry, and install reactionary Supreme Court justices.
Tues, April 18, Sen. Tom Udall Townhall on the EPA Methane Rule. Meet at 5:30, Events begin at 6 pm. RSVP for the event nearest you. Santa Fe | Downtown Albuquerque | Las Cruces
Can’t attend one of the in-person events? RSVP to join LIVE via Facebook and you can listen and ask your questions live in your Facebook feed. ProgressNowNM will take care of all the technology, just RSVP and they’ll send you a reminder with all the details.
Methane Rule Town Hall: Join via Facebook
Thursday, April 20th. 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM. Higher Education Center, 1950 Siringo Rd. Santa Fe. Know Your Rights: An evening with the NM ACLU. Join us with ACLU Director Peter Simonson. The talk will focus on immigrants, the Muslim community, LGBTQ rights, rights to protea and the constitutionality of some of Trump’s policies. LEARN MORE AND RSVP ON FACEBOOK HERE
For more events, including the Science and Climate Marches and a great benefit concert for Santa Fe Dreamers, click here.
Syria: The More We Know the More It Stinks
On March 30, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that the future leader of Syria should be determined by the people of Syria. This major policy statement by the US took regime change off the table, and was obviously great news for Bashar al-Assad. Combined with Syrian military gains on the ground, Assad was in the strongest position he’d been in since the war in Syria began. Counterpunch poses the question: So, why 5 days later would he gas his own people? Click here for an interesting discussion of how much this use of chemical weapons mirrors the one perpetrated where US supported rebels were found to have used chemical weapons. The article expands on the illogic of Assad having been the one to mount these attacks and points to Al Qaeda, US supported rebels, and US “White Hats” as having far more to gain from this chemical attack. Bottom line, as long as we still live in something like a democracy, the President is supposed to consult with Congress; he did not. And as disturbing is how the media and many Democrats unquestioningly fell into line behind Trump.
A second Counterpunch report went into how both the US bombing of Mosul this March and the 2013 use of chemicals in Ghouta both were investigated, with Mosul’s taking several days and the Ghouta attack taking far more time. But in Syria this month, the attack came without investigation and with almost universal support. From Counterpunch: “When the US investigated its own airstrike in Mosul this March, it took a number of days before it admitted it had killed hundreds of civilians. Yet, guilt was immediately assigned in the Khan Sheikhun attack.
In 2013, the US media also rushed to the conclusion Assad used sarin in a horrific incident in Ghouta. The US was on the verge of attacking Assad then, but Obama decided against it. Obama claimed he held off because US intelligence voiced skepticism about Assad’s guilt. The UN investigation on the Ghouta attack took almost a month and even its conclusions have been disputed.
In December of 2013, Seymour Hersh published a lengthy investigation into the 2013 attack in Ghouta and found reason to doubt Assad’s responsibility for attack. He was forced to publish it in the London Review of Books after the New York Times and the Washington Post refused to run it.” Again as reported in Counterpunch, after Hersh’s report was published, an MIT study asserted that the chemical attack on Ghouta couldn’t possibly have been conducted by Syria using missiles, as their missiles did not have the capacity to extend that distance. Taken together, there appears to be a history of efforts to blame Assad for attacks that in the past have been investigated and proven false. There is also common sense. Five days prior to the attacks, our own Secretary of State Tillerson was crowing about how regime change was not up to the US. Why would Assad provoke the US? Who had the most to gain by provoking the US? The rebels and Al Qaida, both of whom had chemical weapons. In such a murky setting, attacking without first investigating is impulsive at best and coldly calculated and staged at worst. An argument could be made that the U.S. attacks were done quickly to prevent more attacks, but in that case, why were the attacks so lacking in impact? Syrian jets took off from the base less than 24 hours after the attack, and there are confirmed reports that the US actually warned Russia of the attacks in advance. And of course, the US knew that the Russians would warn their ally. Click here for the report on the US warning Russia. Taken together the whole thing plays like theater, Trump theater.
But most theatrics have a purpose. What could be the motive? While Trump spoke of being moved by the death of Syrian children, he isn’t moved enough to allow any into our country, and there is abundant evidence of his heartless indifference to children in his Death Budget. We clearly were not seriously trying to deter future attacks by Assad, as the runway was not attacked and jets took of the next day. So….Chris Matthews offers a reason that actually makes logical sense. Matthews surmises: ‘If there was a way for him to kill the narrative that he’s in bed with Putin, it would be this. Take on Putin’s warm freshwater port [in Tartus], take on his satellite, his loyal ally Assad. And that would be a way of saying I was never in bed with this guy, I never planned any kind of coalition in Moscow.’ No evidence for Matthews theory, of course, but makes more sense than Trump actually caring about children other than his own. Click here for Matthews report.
So where does this leave us? We knew we had an impulsive, calculating President and a fawning media. We have more evidence of both. Our lesson is that we need to look elsewhere than mainstream media for news, as they have become gullible cheerleaders instead of critics. So Democracy Now, the Nation, Counterpunch, Truthout, and others need to be our source for information. And we need to continue to engage, educate, and organize.
As Usual Keith Olbermann Nails It While
the Mainstream Media Sleeps
Categories: Foreign Policy, Syria
Today’s (Thursday) Democracy Now! was about Syria and Russia. Gave a lot more important and useful information than Olbermann. Worth listening to on-line or reading the transcript.